Over the past few years, many experts, as well as the tech enthusiasts, raised one particular question regarding the safety of the security cameras which are usually installed to keep the trouble away. But what will happen if your newly purchased security cameras pose security threat?
Since the whistle-blower Edward Snowden revealed the dark secret about 24 hours surveillance on people, many people still put band-aids or stickers on their laptop cameras. But what about those security cameras, which you just have installed inside your home? Are you sure that those are perfect equipment to ensure the safety of your child and other family members?
The security camera threat
Recently a Redditor with the screenname /u/Dio-V, who is the owner of a Xiaomi Mijia camera owner received images from other peoples' homes while trying to stream content from his own security camera to a Google Nest Hub. These images showed people sleeping in their own bedroom, a man seemingly asleep in a chair and even babies in a cradle.
It should be noted that the Xiaomi Mijia 1080p Smart IP Security Camera can be easily linked to a Google account for use with Google or Nest devices through Xiaomi's Mi Home app/service. The owner of the security camera took the issue to Reddit where he mentioned that he recently purchased both the Nest Hub and the camera from AliExpress and noted as running firmware version 3.5.1_00.66.
However, it is still not clear when the owner first started receiving the images from random homes or how long these cameras were connected to his account. Doi-V tried to access a video feed from his own newly installed cameras, but then he noticed random, occasionally partly corrupted black and white still images from other's homes.
After this incident, Google told media that "We're aware of the issue and are in contact with Xiaomi to work on a fix. In the meantime, we're disabling Xiaomi integrations on our devices."
Amazon sued after security camera hack
Recently in another incident a man from Alabama, John Baker Orange, filled a $5 million class-action lawsuit against the Ring camera and the owner, Amazon, after a string of security camera hacking incidents appeared.
As per the lawsuit, the man bought the Ring camera in July 2019 and installed it over his garage. Later, it was claimed that the camera was hacked by using its two-way speaker to talk to his three children, aged below 10, while they were playing outside. The lawsuit reads that whoever hacked the camera was commenting on "their basketball play and encouraging them to get closer to the camera."
It should be noted that this lawsuit also include seven other security camera hacking incidents that involve the camera system as well as one in which a cybercriminal used the device to speak to an eight-year-old girl in her bedroom.
In addition, the lawsuit reads, "As a result of Ring's defective design, and its failure to imbue its WiFi cameras with sufficient security protocols," and "its customers' most basic privacy rights were violated along with the security and sanctity of their homes."